I’m Back for the Summer!

Soooo… Throwback to April when I posted about my blogging hiatus due to my overly hectic schedule of juggling classes with lacrosse season. Unfortunately I had to pour all my energy into school and lacrosse to just stay afloat meaning there was zero time for reading much less blogging. But I somehow managed to survive my first year of college, and I’m back at home!

I’ve decided to give myself a bit of a break this summer. I hadn’t been back home since January due to lacrosse, so I’m beyond ecstatic to be home! My summer is going to be pretty chill, and I can’t wait to catch up with all the good books that have been coming out. I’m going to be taking a summer course, playing and training for lacrosse, and working a summer job. This means I’ll definitely have time for books! YAY! 🙂

This year was my first year of college, so it was definitely an adjustment year. I was learning how to navigate college, and how to manage academics and athletics. There were a lot of ups and downs (mostly ups!), and I learned a lot this year. I’m unbelievably lucky to be able to go to such an amazing college where I’ve been able to meet such incredible, fascinating people.

Reading and blogging have been dear to my heart since I started back in 2012. It’s crazy to think that I keep coming back to this blog, even after I’ve begrudgingly let it gather up dust every once in a while. Life can become chaotic and it’s always been hard to prioritize reading and blogging when there are so many other things that need to come first, like school and lacrosse. It’s been hard to find a balance that works, and to be perfectly honest I haven’t quite found it yet. Also it can sometimes be hard to pick up a book when in the back of my head I have to think about how I’m going to write a review on it. I love the escape of reading a book, and I cannot wait to be able to experience that feeling of opening a new book this summer. My goal for the summer is to just start reading for fun again, and see where that takes this blog. I think I won’t just be solely focusing on books and I might introduce some bullet journaling posts (which I’ve been recently been obsessed with). I’ve missed reading so much, and it always makes me sad when I don’t have enough time for reading during the school year. But summer is always my best time for reading and I’m excited for some new posts I have planned. Thanks for sticking with me and let’s have an awesome summer!

What are your summer plans?

ANY BOOK RECOMMENDATIONS?

THANKS FOR READING VIVALABOOKS!

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Blogging Hiatus & Catch Up

Hi y’all!

I’m sorry I’ve been so silent on the blog lately. Things got very hectic very fast and I had to focus on my school work. Literally the past few months I’ve only been studying, practicing lacrosse, and sleeping. Unfortunately I’ve had zero time to read, and when I did have free time it usually resulted in a nap.

I’m more busy than usual since it’s lacrosse season *yay!* and I had a ton of projects & midterms. Luckily this past week was spring break, and I welcomed the much needed break. My lacrosse team and I traveled to California, which was a beautiful change of scenery from the usual cold, for spring break. I actually got back yesterday, and it’s already snowing in Providence. *sigh* You will be greatly missed sun!

 

California was an amazing experience! I had so much fun with the girls on my team, and we got to enjoy beautiful weather. I never realized how much I missed the sun until I got off the plane and felt the sun on my skin again. It was honestly bliss! And it was wonderful not practicing in full under armour for once.  Not only did we get to relax on the beach one day, but I was able to get in some much-needed reading time during this trip.

I underestimated my workload coupled with lacrosse season and was overly ambitious in February, but I hope to continue posting a few times a month. By making more realistic goals, I’m hoping to motivate myself to post more while still managing the other parts of my life. While I won’t be very active, I’ll still be posting every once in a while! And I hope you’ll check in when I do! 🙂

HOw do you manage blogging with work?

how was your spring break?

any book recommendations?

THANKS FOR READING VIVALABOOKS!

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February 2017 OwlCrate Unboxing

owl-crate-unboxing

Hi y’all!

Instead of sending me a care package every month, my mom decided to sign me up for an OwlCrate subscription.  I had always wanted to sign up for one, so I was unbelievably excited when my mom surprised me. It’s a great way for me to get a book in college, and it’s always exciting to get mail. Hope you enjoy this February Unboxing!

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BOOK OF THE MONTH : Caraval by stephanie Garber

Whatever you’ve heard about Caraval, it doesn’t compare to the reality. It’s more than just a game or a performance. It’s the closest you’ll ever find to magic in this world . . .

Welcome, welcome to Caraval―Stephanie Garber’s sweeping tale of two sisters who escape their ruthless father when they enter the dangerous intrigue of a legendary game.

Scarlett has never left the tiny island where she and her beloved sister, Tella, live with their powerful, and cruel, father. Now Scarlett’s father has arranged a marriage for her, and Scarlett thinks her dreams of seeing Caraval, the far-away, once-a-year performance where the audience participates in the show, are over.

But this year, Scarlett’s long-dreamt of invitation finally arrives. With the help of a mysterious sailor, Tella whisks Scarlett away to the show. Only, as soon as they arrive, Tella is kidnapped by Caraval’s mastermind organizer, Legend. It turns out that this season’s Caraval revolves around Tella, and whoever finds her first is the winner.

Scarlett has been told that everything that happens during Caraval is only an elaborate performance. But she nevertheless becomes enmeshed in a game of love, heartbreak, and magic with the other players in the game. And whether Caraval is real or not, she must find Tella before the five nights of the game are over, a dangerous domino effect of consequences is set off, and her sister disappears forever.

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Ruler of Books Tag

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This tag was created by the Youtuber Ariel Bissett. I stumbled across this book tag, and I couldn’t say no. Imagine a world if you were the ruler of books…

WHAT BOOK WOULD YOU MAKE EVERYONE READ?

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I can’t just pick one!!! Actually it’s impossible to choose just one. You might be thinking that I forgot to include one of your favorites, but I had to keep it to three books at the most and for the sake of not too much repetition I didn’t include any books mentioned later on in this post. DIVERGENT by Veronica Roth was a no brainer for me. This was the book that reignited my love for reading, and helped spark my motivation to start blogging. I love the message of the book, and the world Roth created with the different factions. Also I have to give a shoutout to GRACELING by Kristin Cashore, which I believe is a super underrated book. It’s one of my favorite fantasy novels, and it’s impossible not to fall in love with the story and characters. (Please check it out if you haven’t read it!!!) And I couldn’t forget THE NIGHT CIRCUS by Erin Morgenstern. It’s an unbelievable read that left my imagination flowing and mind blown, and I have yet to meet a person who didn’t enjoy it!

WHAT WOULD YOU ABOLISH FROM BOOK CONSTRUCTION?

Redesigning perfectly beautiful covers mid-series!! UGHHH It’s actually one of the most annoying things when you own two books or more in a series, and the publishers decide to change the final book in the series, leaving you with unmatching books! And you know you really shouldn’t go buy the new versions of the books since you already own them, but it’s honestly so aggravating when covers do not match! (Sorry for the rant… but this should most definitely be a real rule!)

WHAT AUTHOR WOULD YOU COMMISSION TO WRITE EVERY BOOK EVER? OR WHAT AUTHOR WOULD YOU COMMISSION TO WRITE A BOOK FOR YOU?

I think it’d be amazing to read a book from Sarah J. Maas and Cassandra Clare. Both women have created amazing worlds filled with fascinating characters that I love and drive me crazy. I can’t even imagine what the two of them together would do! All the books they write are must reads and automatic buys for me, so a book written by both would just be incredible!! Also I’d love to add some of Rick Riordan’s humor and sassy characters and his knowledge of mythology. And since this is my world, I’d have to add Ally Carter to the list because I’m a sucker for a good spy book and she sure knows how to write them!

WHAT BOOK WOULD YOU DEMOTE TO THE LIBRARY BASEMENT TO MAKE ROOM FOR NEW BOOKS?

I haven’t read a book that I disliked so much that I would banish it to the basement in a really long time. I think it’s because I don’t have as much time to read, so I tend to only pick up books I’m almost sure I’ll enjoy. Since my reading time is limited, I tend to DNF or stop reading and “forget” to pick up books that I don’t enjoy. (sorry, this is kind of a cop out, but wouldn’t you feel bad for that poor book!)

WHAT COVER ARTIST WOULD YOU COMMISSION TO PAINT A BEAUTIFUL MURAL?

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Whoever does Rainbow Rowell’s covers completely understands how to keep things clean and simple while still being aesthetically pleasing. I’ve always been obsessed with Rowell’s cover art. I love how clean all her covers look, yet there’s so many little details incorporated in them.

WHAT CHARACTER’S FACE WOULD YOU PUT ON A COIN?

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Hmm… This is so hard to choose. I’m not really sure whose face I’d want to put on a coin. Although I do think Tessa, Will, and Jem from THE INFERNAL DEVICES by Cassandra Clare would look great together on different coins. I mean come on, they’re all gorgeous! And I don’t think anyone would complain to a little bit of Will Herondale in their everyday life.

(Picture by Taratjah)

WHAT BOOK WOULD YOU GIVE THE RULER OF BOOKS AWARD OF 2016?

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I read so many wonderful books in 2016 and it’s so hard to choose a favorite, but A COURT OF MIST AND FURY by Sarah J. Maas was just icing on a cake. I didn’t think the series could get better than ACOTAR, but ACOMAF proved me completely wrong. This book was INCREDIBLE!!! Not only did Rhysand become one of my favorite characters ever, but Maas takes this story to a different level and shows us new beautiful parts of this world. I can’t even begin to explain my love for this book, but seriously please go read this series! You will NOT regret it!!!!

i tag all of you!

let me know if you participate.

i’m interested in your answers.

would you like to live in my kingdom of books?

THANKS FOR READING VIVALABOOKS!

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Three Dark Crowns By Kendare Blake | Book Review

 RATING: Redeeming ending! (3.5) // AMAZON

PAGES: 398 PAGES | PUBLISHER: Harperteen

FORMAT: HARDCOVER | SOURCE: owlcrate | AGE GROUP: YOUNG ADULT



28374007GOODREADS
 SUMMARY

When kingdom come, there will be one.

In every generation on the island of Fennbirn, a set of triplets is born—three queens, all equal heirs to the crown and each possessor of a coveted magic. Mirabella is a fierce elemental, able to spark hungry flames or vicious storms at the snap of her fingers. Katharine is a poisoner, one who can ingest the deadliest poisons without so much as a stomachache. Arsinoe, a naturalist, is said to have the ability to bloom the reddest rose and control the fiercest of lions.

But becoming the Queen Crowned isn’t solely a matter of royal birth. Each sister has to fight for it. And it’s not just a game of win or lose…it’s life or death. The night the sisters turn sixteen, the battle begins.

The last queen standing gets the crown. 

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Cover ThoughtsI like this cover because it’s simple and clean, yet each crown is very detailed. There’s one crown for each ability: naturalist, elemental, and poisoner. The top crown has foliage growing on it to represent the naturalist queen. The middle crown has flames to represent the elemental queen. And the bottom crown is surrounded by snakes to represent the poisoner queen. After reading the book, I really appreciate the attention to detail and love how each crown represents each character.
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I went into Three Dark Crowns with very high expectations. The synopsis instantly drew me in as a story of three sisters who have to fight each other to their deaths in order to become queen. Although by the time I read the book, I had forgotten that each sister has a unique ability as an elemental, poisoner, or naturalist. Three Dark Crowns is told in alternating POVs from each sister, which  at first made it difficult to connect with the characters since there was little time with each girl. And to be honest I found most of the book to be pretty boring and the pace to be quite slow. Even though I had a hard time getting into the book and there was a lack of character connection, I was interested enough by the plot to continue reading.

Three Dark Crowns is about three royal sisters, who have to fight each other to the death in order to claim their crown. Each sister possesses a unique magic of either an elemental, poisoner, or naturalist. An elemental is able to control the elements, like fire and water. A poisoner can eat poison without any consequences. A naturalist can control nature and animals. Mirabella is the most powerful elemental ever, and seems the most likely candidate to win. Katharine is a poisoner with high expectations of continuing the poisoner dynasty, but is unable to stomach much poison. Arsinoe is a naturalist with barely any signs of her gift showing anytime soon. Each girl has to fight with her own abilities in order to win the crown, but will they be able to kill each other?

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February 2017 TBR

Hi y’all!

Hope you had a fantastic January and are excited for what’s to come in 2017. I’m finally back on campus, taking classes, and playing lacrosse. During the end of my winter break, I decided to start blogging again after I found how much I missed the blogosphere and talking to others about books. I’m hopeful that I’ll be able to continue blogging while juggling my academics, athletics, and social life in February.

I’m planning on reading 4 books this months, but this could be a reach with a new class and practice schedule. At the very least I’m hoping I can read at least one book a month while I’m at college because I didn’t read a single non-school book my first semester. It’s a lot harder than it seems! Also I’m hoping to publish at least one post a week or even one post every two weeks, whatever works best with my schedule. Hopefully by publishing this on the Internet, I’ll be more motivated to reach my goals!

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Vassa in the Night by Sarah Porter | Goodreads | Amazon

Of Fire and Stars by Audrey Coulthurst | Goodreads | Amazon

The Bone Witch by Rin Chupeco | Goodreads | Amazon

Roseblood by A.G. Howard | Goodreads | Amazon

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COMMENT DOWN BELOW!

What books are on your Feb TBR list?

Goals for february 2017?

THANKS FOR READING VIVALABOOKS!
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January 2017 OwlCrate Unboxing

owl-crate-unboxing

Hi y’all!

Instead of sending me a care package every month, my mom decided to sign me up for an OwlCrate subscription.  I had always wanted to sign up for one, so I was unbelievably excited when my mom surprised me. It’s a great way for me to get a book in college, and it’s always exciting to get mail. Hope you enjoy this January Unboxing!

img_5104BOOK OF THE MONTH : Rose Blood by A.G. Howard

In this modern day spin on Leroux’s gothic tale of unrequited love turned to madness, seventeen-year-old Rune Germain has a mysterious affliction linked to her operatic talent, and a horrifying mistake she’s trying to hide. Hoping creative direction will help her, Rune’s mother sends her to a French arts conservatory for her senior year, located in an opera house rumored to have ties to The Phantom of the Opera.

At RoseBlood, Rune secretly befriends the masked Thorn—an elusive violinist who not only guides her musical transformation through dreams that seem more real than reality itself, but somehow knows who she is behind her own masks. As the two discover an otherworldly connection and a soul-deep romance blossoms, Thorn’s dark agenda comes to light and he’s forced to make a deadly choice: lead Rune to her destruction, or face the wrath of the phantom who has haunted the opera house for a century, and is the only father he’s ever known.

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Empire of Storms By Sarah J. Maas | Book Review

 RATING: another incredible installment (4.5) // AMAZON

PAGES: 519 PAGES | PUBLISHER: SIMON & SCHUSTER

FORMAT: HARDCOVER | SOURCE: BOUGHT | AGE GROUP: YOUNG ADULT

 

28260587GOODREADS SUMMARY

The long path to the throne has only just begun for Aelin Galathynius. Loyalties have been broken and bought, friends have been lost and gained, and those who possess magic find themselves at odds with those don’t.

As the kingdoms of Erilea fracture around her, enemies must become allies if Aelin is to keep those she loves from falling to the dark forces poised to claim her world. With war looming on all horizons, the only chance for salvation lies in a desperate quest that may mark the end of everything Aelin holds dear.

Aelin’s journey from assassin to queen has entranced millions across the globe, and this fifth installment will leave fans breathless. Will Aelin succeed in keeping her world from splintering, or will it all come crashing down?

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Cover ThoughtsTo be honest I’m not the biggest fan of the ToG covers. Although I do like the typography of the title, which gives off an ancient and regal vibe. The arc of fire is cool too since Aelin is able to control fire, and the gray scheme goes well the the overall arc of the book since war is looming in their future.
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Wow. Just wow. Sarah J. Maas has created another incredible installment in the Throne of Glass series.

Before starting Empire of Storms, I would recommend rereading the series or even just Queen of Shadows. You’re instantly thrown back into the world of Throne of Glass, so I found the beginning to be a bit slow because my mind was trying to remember all the characters.

Sidenote: If you haven’t already read The Assassin’s Blade, I would highly recommend picking it up to get a better understanding of some of the characters and story.

In Empire of Storms, Aelin is trying to rebuild her court while fighting the threat of Erawan and Queen Meave. We are able to delve even deeper into the world Maas has created, and learn more about the horde of characters she has introduced to us. While Empire of Storms delivers the expected action, romance, adventure, frustration, and bewilderment, what stood out to me was my grown interest in each individual character. In Heir of Fire and Queen of Shadows I begrudgingly read chapters that weren’t directly associated to Celaena/Aelin. Chapters from Manon’s POV never really interested me, but in Empire of Storms I became invested in each character’s own plotline.

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2017 Goals

2017-goals

Hi y’all!

It went pretty radio silent while I was at college. It was my first semester and I wanted to focus on learning to balance my academics and athletics before tackling blogging too. (I play lacrosse at Brown University!)

I had an amazing first semester at college, and I’m so thankful for all the memories I’ve made. Even though I was miles away from home, Providence soon began to feel like my second home. I’ve met so many incredible people, and I’ve already made so many friendships I know will last a lifetime. I went to the same school for 10 years, so it’s been great to get to meet so many cool new people.

My schedule was packed with classes, schoolwork, practice, and social activities. Honestly for me the first semester was just about learning how to survive balancing my academic and athletic pursuits. But I found myself missing blogging and reading. Although the two don’t go hand in hand, it became difficult for me to motivate myself to pick up a book in my free time when I’d rather nap or watch Netflix. Over break, I rekindled my love for reading and realized how much I missed reading and even blogging.

Thus I’ve decided to give my two loves a try in a new environment. I know it’s going to be difficult, but I’m excited for what’s to come! I’m going to be starting my second semester at college and entering into my first collegiate lacrosse season. I’m beyond excited to see what’s in store for me in 2017!

Blog Goals

1. Less is More

I tend to get overwhelmed when I think I need to post 2-3 times a week to maintain a good blog, and I end up with a bunch of filler posts or no posts at all. I think this year I should focus on publishing less posts with better content. Although it would be great to publish a post at least once a week, I think I should focus on publishing one great post despite the lapse of time.

2. Balance and Time Management

Haha this could be applied to all aspects of my life too. It’s been something I’ve always struggled with, and I think my first semester at college was an eye-opening experience in this regard. Although I still struggle with procrastination and distractions, I’ve learned a lot about prioritizing and managing my time.

3. Read MORE

I think every college student struggles with finding time to read for fun. For me my free time was usually spent napping, watching Netflix, or hanging with friends. By the time I’ve read pages of notes or textbooks, I’m not exactly in the mood to stare at more words. Sometimes I just want to sit back, relax, and watch TV. I’m hoping restarting my blog will encourage me to pick up a book during my free time instead of lounging around on my phone or laptop.

Life Goals

meet new people & form new friendships | explore more of Providence | have an awesome first season | manage time better! study more often! | use bullet journal more | write more | take advantage of everything Brown offers | find a summer internship or job | take more risks | have fun!

COMMENT DOWN BELOW!

WHAT ARE YOUR GOALS FOR 2017?

THANKS FOR READING VIVALABOOKS!
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Top Ten Things Books Have Made Me Want To Do or Learn About After Reading Them

top ten tuesday

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish.

This week is Top Ten Tuesday REWIND… Last month I saw everyone doing posts about things books inspired them to do, and I loved reading about all of them. Thus this week I decided to pick what things books made me want to do in real life! (Click the book covers to check out the book on Goodreads.)

17838528 scavenger hunt

Palmer’s scavenger hunt in THE UNEXPECTED EVERYTHING was one of my favorite parts of the book! And I really want to do one with my friends. 🙂

Laura Jean in TO ALL THE BOYS I’VE LOVED BEFORE gave me serious baking envy, and I felt very inspired to try to go into the kitchen and try to bake.

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16068905 write fiction

Although I don’t think I’ll ever write fan fiction, Cath in FANGIRL made me really want to whip out a notebook and start writing.

I adore THE GALLAGHER GIRLS series, and it only fueled my childhood dream of being an international spy. Plus how cool would it be to attend a school for spies?!?!

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